BRISTOL — Four accomplished senior wrestlers graduated from the Mount Abraham Union program this past spring, three of whom won more than 100 matches and finished high on the state-meet podium and one of whom — Roman Mayer — won multiple Vermont championships and set the school record for wins.
Coach Nick Mayer and his assistants naturally figured this winter might mean a step backward, but then 17 wrestlers signed up, enough to fill all the weight classes and create healthy competition in the Eagle wrestling room.
And some of them, Mayer said, should again stand on the podium at the end of...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union boys’ basketball team is coming off a respectable eight-win season.
Coach Martin Clark is aiming a little higher this year, however, with what he called a deep, athletic team and a style he hopes will take advantage of those assets.
“We will look to run the floor with several boys with quickness and a deeper bench than years past,” Clark said.
Senior forward and leading scorer Liam Kelliher returns, and Clark called him “the backbone of our team.”
But he said the Eagles shouldn’t have to rely on Kelliher every night because of the team’s balance.
BRISTOL — Almost all the players have graduated from the Mount Abraham Union girls’ basketball teams that won the 2018 Division II title and then earned the top seed in 2019 before being upset in a close semifinal.
But Coach Connie LaRose is not complaining. She has what she calls an enjoyable, energetic team that she believes will at the least hold its own.
“I think we’re going to be fun to watch. I think they’re going to be fun to coach,” LaRose said. “What more can you ask for?”
The Eagles could also be a little deeper this year, allowing more substitutions and a quicker tempo.
BRANDON — The move from Division II to Division III may be more of a lateral move for the Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team this year.
While they will no longer have to travel to Brattleboro and Mount Anthony, they will have to deal with strong teams in Lake Region, Windsor and Thetford. Still, shorter bus trips to away games can’t hurt.
Third-year coach Kelley Trayah has all of his starters back this year, including five seniors and four juniors.
“It will definitely help, especially with travel,” Trayah said. “When you have to travel two and a half hours, it takes a lot...
BRANDON — A new coach is at the helm of the Otter Valley boys’ basketball team, and with that, a new team. Literally.
When it comes to varsity experience, head coach Mike Stark may start five juniors who have never played a varsity game. The team graduated nine seniors last year, and seven-year coach Greg Hughes stepped down in the off-season to spend more time with his family. There are only two returning players from varsity, and neither started last year.
But they have company. There are seven juniors on this OV team, plus seniors Logan Trombley and Julian Lopez, and sophomores Elijah...
BRANDON — The recruitment and retention plan the Otter Valley wrestling team has implemented to bolster the varsity squad is paying off, and this year the team features 12 grapplers.
Fifth-year coach Cole Mason said his team is solid through the underclassmen, all of whom bring experience having wrestled at the town recreation level and in middle school. Both of those programs have been strengthened in recent years and are now funneling experienced freshmen and sophomores into the varsity program.
It was necessary to keep the high school program alive, as it was just five years ago that Mason...
BRANDON — The Nordic ski team at Otter Valley is building momentum going into this season.
Fourth-year head coach Devon Fuller was seeing improvement and focus in preseason as his team prepared for the season with 15 student-athletes, seven of whom are in the middle school.
There are no captains, but the team boasts three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman, plus four eighth-graders and three seventh-graders.
Many of the students are returning team members.
“The kids are getting better all the time,” Fuller said. “I have a handful that started in seventh grade and now are freshman and...
VERGENNES — One of the last things a young high school basketball team playing its opener in a packed gym away from home might be expected to do is swish 14 three-pointers and then hold on for a close win against a more experienced group.
But that’s just what the Otter Valley boys did on Tuesday at Vergennes in a 62-60 victory.
First-year Coach Mike Stark’s Otters graduated nine seniors last spring and returned just two athletes who saw minutes this past winter.
But his Otters played like poised veterans as they sank eight first-half three-pointers — four by junior Dylan Gaboriault and three...
PANTHER JUNIOR ERIN Nicholas was recently named the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Player of the Year for the second straight season. Nicholas helped the Panthers win their third straight NCAA championship this fall.
Photo courtesy of Middlebury Athletics
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College junior field hockey player Erin Nicholas has been named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season.
Nicholas helped lead the Panthers to a 21-1 record en route to their third straight NCAA Division III championship and fourth in the last five years. She was named the NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Now a two-time All-American, Nicholas recently became the first NESCAC player to be named Rookie of the Year and then win back-to-back league Player of the Year honors. She finished the season tied...
IT WOULD BE hard to imagine a better breakfast companion for a Hot Stove League conversation than longtime and much admired baseball Coach Jim Carter.
Photo courtesy of Karl Lindholm
Editor’s note: The first of a two-part series.
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
— Rogers Hornsby
Back in time, when baseball enjoyed its hegemony among the leisure passions of Americans, there was the “Hot Stove League,” a term coined in the 19th century. The image was of folks warming themselves around a pot-bellied stove talking baseball in winter’s chilly off-season.
Last weekend, I participated in a great Hot Stove League session. I met in Hinesburg on Saturday morning at the Parkside Café...